Freeman Thomas recently retired from Ford Motor Company as the Global Advanced Design Director where he was responsible for Ford’s Advanced Design Studios in London, Dearborn, Irvine, and Shanghai.
Upon graduating from Art Center College of Design in 1983, he began his dream career at Porsche AG as a part of the Porsche design team. One of his highlights was being a part of the 959 design team.
In 1990, he joined Audi AG as a chief designer, then later moved to Volkswagen AG as a chief designer, co-creating the VW Concept 1/New Beetle and innovating the design of the original iconic Audi TT.
In 1999, he joined DaimlerChrysler as Vice President, Advanced Design Strategy and Vehicle Architecture, spearheading the strategy/styling/design and unique proportions of the Noble American Sedan that became the iconic Chrysler 300.
In 2002, he received an Honorary Doctorate of Science from his alma mater.
In 2005, Freeman’s Ford career began. Here he experienced many highlights including leading and inspiring advanced design teams responsible for multiple future Ford and Lincoln concepts/electrification/autonomous/future ecosystem strategies as well as influencing core production designs including the new Ford Fusion, Ford Explorer, Ford F-150 and new Mustang.
Freeman’s unique vision and trench leadership style has reshaped the industry by creating endearing and iconic designs and ecosystems with a cultural strategic philosophical approach.
In 2018, Freeman founded Freeman Thomas Design, a global design consultancy leveraging his 35 years of international design and strategic experience.
His latest work includes the design of RUF’s exciting all new carbon tub RUF CTR and RUF SCR super cars, revealed at the recent Geneva Auto Shows.
Other Notable Highlights:
Recognized as one of the top 30 designers in Car Magazine’s showcase article “Who is the greatest car designer at work today?” and in Automobile Magazine’s “25 Greatest Designers of All Time” article.
Freeman has been an honorary judge at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance for the past 12 years.
Co-Founder/Co-Creator of the RGRUPPE, the signature international club that celebrates the early “Sports Purpose” Porsche 911.
Co-Creator of theoriginal Irvine “Cars and Coffee” inspiring a global following and phenomenon.